ddn Online

The Blog of Drug Discovery News

Metaphors and M&As

I am a man who likes metaphors.

Perhaps too much.

I don’t get to cut loose much on that front in the magazine, but I’m feeling a little more casual here at the blog, so let me give you my metaphorical take on the two big merger-and-acquisition (M&A) situations going on right now: sanofi-aventis’ bid to woo (or take over) Genzyme Corp. and on the other end of the spectrum, Johnson & Johnson and Crucell both looking to get hooked up.

Many have said that the sanofi/Genzyme situation is a game of chicken. I don’t like that. In a game of chicken, someone’s going to get run off the road, and this seems more like each party trying to get as much as it can, not ruin the other person. So, that also takes my initial metaphor of two gunslingers facing off in a dusty street off the table, because no one’s out to destroy anyone. And I myself have used the staring contest metaphor, except that there’s not much action in that game.

No, I think perhaps it’s an arm wrestling match. Each side is exerting effort to shore up their case and enhance their position, and right now, neither side can pin the other’s arm down to the table. So, we just have to wait to see who does, or if someone calls a tie.

As for the J&J/Crucell situation, I liken that to a couple of lovers making eyes at each other and officially becoming engaged. Most of their friends and family (analysts and investors) like the idea of them getting together and think they’ll be quite happy, but a few close relatives are saying, “Maybe you shouldn’t walk down the aisle unless he buys you a bigger diamond ring or a house or something.”

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September 21, 2010 - Posted by | Corporate, M&A activity | , , , ,

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